What would the ideal build of a laptop for a computer programmer consist of?


I am a student learning computer programming and I wanted to know the recommended laptop specs low, mid and high for a computer programmer.

Thank you kindly.

  • If you're a student, prioritize portability and battery life. I made the mistake of having a gaming laptop and it sucked. 

    Otherwise, the better the processor, RAM, storage, etc, the faster things will be! 

  • While it can depend on the type of task (server or data work needs more oomph and ram and storage fro VMs etc.), I agree with answers saying to prioritize battery life, as well as the keyboard and I would suggest going for a 16x10 display for the extra bit of vertical space. Make it a felxible and comfortable machine. As far as specs go, a better CPU with more cores for compiling (but don't go crazy or more than 4-8 cores, which become redundant) if you anticipate doing that a lot. Old(ish) machines with Linux are fine, really. Avoid something like a Chromebook though - make it a real, open/standard machine. 

  • Long battery life, high-end processor, and substantial RAM (especially for the various programming languages we have today). 

  • Most of the programmers I know buy the latest Surface Pro model. I had many problems with my Surface Pro model 1, so I would never buy that again. If it's mainly for programming, I like Lenovo Thinkpads with SSDs. Sturdy, good battery, good performance!

  • Would recommend getting a lightweight laptop with over 8hrs battery life; with minimum 16GB RAM, and latest Intel I7 or AMD Ryzen 7, gen 4, processor.   The 13/14 inch screen size models are really portable.

  • Thanks to all in the discussion group. I appreciate the insight.

  • Something like a ThinkPad mobile workstation, if sticking to Lenovo products.

  • RAM for running multiple processes/virtual machines etc, CPU compiling/building executables and running tests etc, good battery life when you move around campus and between classes

  • Besides typical specs like RAM, storage, etc you should also consider screen size. Way easier to code on a bigger screen (in my opinion)

  • I agree. I have a 14' right now and I find myself wishing I had a machine that is 16' or greater.